Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Counseling and Psychiatric Service

What should I do if I need help after business hours?

We are available after hours for emergency consults at 202-444-PAGE (7243). You will be prompted to give your name and phone number. In most cases, a CAPS clinician will call you back within 5-10 minutes. If you do not hear back from a clinician within 15 minutes, please call again. 

Please visit our page on how to make an appointment to find out how to make an appointment during business hours.

What kind of records are kept on students and who has access to these records? Do student visits go on school records?

All CAPS records are confidential. No information about any student goes on any academic record. No information is released to an outside party (even parents) without the student's explicit written authorization. Exceptions to confidentiality include information about child abuse, serious risk to human life, and court orders.

How long will I have to wait to be seen?

Generally, students can be seen within a week of the time they call or come by to schedule an appointment. This will vary by time of year--at times of high demand (midterms until finals) it is conceivable that the wait may be longer, but at low volume times (the early part of each semester) the wait time may be shorter. Every effort is made to accommodate students as quickly as possible.

If there is an urgent need to be seen, efforts will be made for a consultation that same day; emergency situations will be given immediate attention.

Does CAPS provide medication consultation?

CAPS psychiatrists are available to provide medication consultation, evaluation and management. If you or your counselor feel that medication may be helpful to your situation, an appointment for a consultation with a psychiatrist can be arranged. This meeting will allow the student and the psychiatrist an opportunity to explore the appropriateness of medication and discuss any other medical concerns that may be present.

What services are provided free at CAPS on Main Campus?

On Main Campus, we provide free evaluations, crisis assessment and intervention, referral to community resources, consultation, support and therapy groups, and outreach programming. Evaluations are typically defined as 1 or 2 visits with a CAPS psychologist or social worker to evaluate the concerns and formulate a treatment plan if needed. If ongoing mental health services are needed after the period of evaluation, then there is a fee for service at CAPS for individual sessions, while group counseling remains free of charge. The fee for each individual psychotherapy session is $10 and the fee for each psychiatry visit is $15.  In cases of financial hardship, CAPS will work to make services affordable. We do not want finances to stand in the way of any student obtaining help.

At the Law Center and School of Continuing Studies, there are different service delivery models.

How do faculty and staff or concerned students refer a student to the Counseling and Psychiatric Service?

A student may be referred in the following ways:

  • Suggest to the student that they make an appointment by calling or walking into CAPS any time between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.
    • For emergencies and crises on weekends or after hours, a CAPS clinician-on-call is available by calling (202) 444-PAGE (7243).
  • Call CAPS directly at (202) 687-6985, and have the student speak with the Intake Coordinator to set up an appointment.
  • Walk the student to CAPS, particularly in a crisis.
  • When uncertain of what actions to take, call the Intake Coordinator at (202) 687-6985 to work out a specific strategy for getting help for a particularly reluctant or an especially troubled student.

What is a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)?

Please visit our page on Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) page for information about taking a medical leave of absence.

How long do I need to be on Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)?

It depends on your particular circumstances. We will base our recommendation for the length of leave on an individualized assessment. A medical leave of absence allows students whose academic progress has been seriously compromised by illness to take time away from Georgetown University without academic penalty. Such leave affords students time to pursue treatment and eventually return to the University with a significantly improved chance of success academically and personally. Frequently students want to rush back to campus as soon as possible, but we find that this is not the best strategy because a premature return often results in the need for another MLOA.

Can I utilize ongoing CAPS services after returning from a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)?

Students returning from a MLOA typically have ongoing further needs for care. CAPS offers a free Support Group for students returning from MLOA (see Group Therapy page). Because CAPS is designed for short-term individual treatment, we generally recommend that students seek individual care in the community where it can be of a longer duration. In addition, because we have a finite ability to render services, we want to make sure that we have availability for students who have never been in counseling before. However, in certain cases, we may make an exception if suitable help cannot be found in the community or if there is true financial hardship.